The Freedom Forum/Roper Center reported in 1996 that 61 percent
of the 139 Washington-based journalists that responded, replied that they were
either "liberal" or "liberal to moderate," while only nine
percent identified themselves as "conservative" to
Studies such as these are bandied about to "prove" a
"liberal bias" in the media.
That argument conveniently forgets that "reporters"
while editors and publishers (at the behest of the media's owners) decide what
is to be reported, and who is to write the columns and the editorials. The
poor "liberal" reporter who takes it upon himself to write an opinion
piece expressing his "left-wing bias" will soon find himself buying
his next newspaper to look at the want ads. In any case, his
"bias" will not likely see print or air time. At the Editor's
desk, the Joe Friday Dragnet rule applies: "Just the facts,
The result? Note the following from
Daphne Eviatar (March 12, 2001 issue):
A study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism found that
in the last weeks of the presidential campaign, Bush was twice as likely to
receive positive coverage as Gore. And the group's study examining five
scattered weeks between February and June revealed that more than
three-quarters of the campaign included discussion that Gore lies and
exaggerates or is tainted by scandal, while the most common theme about Bush
was that he is a "different kind of Republican."
This should come as no surprise, for
The magazine Editor & Publisher has been
tracking newspaper endorsements of presidential candidates since 1932.
Contrary to the myth of the liberal media, in only two elections since then --
1964 and 1992 -- have more endorsements gone to the Democratic candidate than
the Republican. The 2000 election was no exception, according to a
survey E&P (11/6/00) commissioned of newspaper executives:
48 percent said their paper would support George W. Bush, while only 23
percent were picking Al Gore. Personally, 59 percent of publishers said
they planned to vote for Bush, v. just 20 percent inclined to
Gore." (Extra! (FAIR), January/February, 2001).
E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post was on the mark when he
recently wrote that "no honest person who has watched television in the past month
(January, 2002) can
pretend that there is such a thing anymore as 'the liberal
And anyone who followed the 2000 presidential campaign and still
believes that there is a "liberal bias," must be getting his or her
news from a ouija board -- or just as reliably, from The Fox Network.
The "Think Tanks" Seminaries for the "Conservative"
In a survey of U.S. major media news reports that used think tanks as sources
of information in 1998-99, the number of those reports in which the think tanks
that were cited (but usually not named in the stories) were categorized by
nonpartisan watchdog group (FAIR) as conservative or right-leaning:
Number of those reports in which the think tanks cited sited were categorized
as liberal or left-leaning:
Donations (at record level) to George W. Bush's presidential primary campaign
Over $100 Million
Unpublicized donations to the to three conservative think tanks, which shaped
U.S. public opinion by serving as primary sources in more than 8,000 major media
stories analyzing such issues as climate change, environmental regulation,
economic growth, and military spending, during the year preceding the Bush
Over $129 Million
World Watch, Jan-Feb, 2001
People as Products:
"Make no mistake: The primary purpose of the mass media is to sell
audiences to advertisers. We are the product. Although people are
much more sophisticated about advertising now than even a few years ago, most
are still shocked to learn this...
Although we like to think of advertising as unimportant, it is in fact the
most important aspect of the mass media. It is the point.
Advertising supports more than sixty percent of magazine and newspaper
production and almost 100 percent of the electronic media. Over $40
billion a year in ad revenue is generated for television and radio, and over
$30 billion for magazines and newspapers.
Jean Kilbourne, Deadly Persusaions...
Quoted in Extra! (FAIR), July/August, 2001
Who Reads What?
The Wall Street Journal is read by people who run the
The New York Times is read by people who think they run
The Washington Post is ready by people who think they
ought to run the country.
USA Today is ready by people who think they ought to run
the country but don't understand the Washington Post.
The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn't mind
running the country, if they could spare the time.
The Boston Globe is ready by people whose parents used to
run the country.
The New York Daily News is read by people who aren't sure
who's running the country.
The New York Post is read by people who don't care who's
running the country as long as they do something scandalous.
The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren't
sure there is a country or that anyone is running it.
The Miami Herald is read by people who are running
Digital Industry (Boston)